More time needed before building mosque near 9-11
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - 12:09 pm

To the Editor:

The debate is on and a majority does not want a Muslim religion facility erected two blocks from ground zero or the former site of the destroyed World Trade Towers. Emotions are running high especially and naturally from relatives and friends of the nearly 3,000 victims of the attack and neighboring establishments. Because the perpetrators were members of the Muslim religion, many Americans feel the religion itself is the affront and any symbol of that religion erected in the vicinity of the 9-11 tragedy is out of the question.

Perhaps the problem is timing. Not quite 10 years have passed and no new construction has been completed on the site where the Trade Towers stood.

It is too soon, the memories are still vibrant, the NYC firefighters can still be envisioned in our minds climbing the towers to rescue stranded workers. We can all give thought and vision to the two aircraft striking the towers, and we can all see the people jumping and the towers falling like ash from the sky.

Building such a symbol of Islam so near the site of this tragedy is producing thoughts of collective guilt. It is not unnatural for Americans to condemn the Muslim religion for the act, for the events following the “act of war” have left us mired in the Muslim Middle East nations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many Americans are wondering whether our First Amendment, freedom of religion, is hindering our ability to come to terms with this horrible tragedy. Thousands of Americans feel the Muslim religion has no free standing in our nation, and many more feel we are being kicked while we are down.

Would it not perhaps be in the best interest of all to postpone the erection of this facility for at least a generation, better yet, two?

Joe Stark

Norfolk